The Philippines Tops Participation In International Coastal Cleanups

With over 200,000 volunteers, the Philippines ranks first among the top 25 countries that participated in international coastal cleanup activities around the world, according to the Ocean Conservatory 2018 Report.

The volunteers, who joined the international coastal cleanups last year, were able to gather more than 230,000 kilograms of trash from beaches and waterways or equivalent to over 1,200 kilometers.

It is noted that the Philippines is the world's third biggest dumper of ocean plastic, according to the 2015 report on plastic pollution by the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment.

The research found out that more than half of the plastic leaking into the ocean comes from just five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is noted that an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste leaks into the ocean every year. An immediate action from these countries could stem that tide.

Globally, cigarette butts remain to top the world's coastal trash, increasing in number from 1.8 million pieces in 2016 to over 2.4 million in 2017. On the average, cigarette butts take at least 10 years to rot while plastic products will need five centuries to a thousand years to decompose.

Last year, a nearly 1 million food wrappers were found here in the Philippines, making it the most common coastal trash in the country today.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded this month's national cleanup activities, inviting several organizations and individuals to join thousand of volunteers around the Philippines.

Meanwhile, environmental group Greenpeace Philippines spearheaded the Manila Bay Coastal Cleanup on September 22nd as part of their #BreakFreeFromPlastic campaign. 


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